I AM not a feminist. Should you ever see me sporting a Harriet Harman ‘this is what a feminist looks like’ T-shirt, it’s a safe bet I am being blackmailed by the sisterhood.
My reluctance stems not from a dislike of women, but rather a hatred of ridiculous diversity quotas, which seek conformity by another name. Like the Google employee James Damore, I’m all for equality of opportunity, I just don’t believe men and women are the same, nor do I insist their dreams come out 50/50.
Were feminism even vaguely interested in supporting women, I would be all for it. Sadly, traditional women no longer appear to be a worthwhile cause to defend. In these ultra-woke times, with an identity politics-obsessed commentariat, and an ever-evolving victim hierarchy, individuals are worth only as much as the virtue-signalling you can extract from them.
White women in particular are of little use here, since the Left likes to hold them accountable for colonialism on the one hand, and voting ‘the wrong way’ on the other. In other words, they buttress the patriarchy rather than stand up to it. This at least partially explains political negligence such as the scandals of Rotherham and Telford, or the outrageous claims of feminist politician Barbro Sorman that ‘migrant rape isn’t as bad’ – the implication being the women deserved it.
Hijacked by the woke Left, modern feminism has morphed into an alternate form of misogyny: painting women as hapless dupes when they make choices it disapproves of (the long-debunked gender paygap or erotic advertising) and ignoring them when they cry for help (FGM, grooming gangs).
Unfortunately for women, there’s a new game in town: transgenderism. For a long time, the consensus was that the victim Olympics was going to be a photo finish between LGBTQwerty and Islam, with a penalty shootout between Owen Jones and Anjem Choudary if necessary. Trans rights, however, have won the day.
Political parties have been scrambling to take the lead here. The Lib Dems played their ‘pansexual’ card, hoping to cover all bases, but it was oddly the Labour Party who called it right (a stopped clock and all that). Labour accurately identified ‘men pretending to be women’ as the ultimate victim status, which is why their leadership contest has descended into a Dutch auction. Keir ‘Trans rights are human rights’ Starmer, Rebecca ‘Let’s get men into women’s refuges’ Long Bailey and Lisa ‘Let’s get male rapists into female prisons’ Nandy are all hungry to be trans champion.
Transgender rights have flipped the feminist script, and are now the question no politician can answer. Watch Lisa Nandy’s disastrous appearance on Good Morning Britain, when she could not admit the unfairness of allowing Floyd Mayweather or Usain Bolt to compete alongside female athletes.
All of which add up to the most ironic Stockholm Syndrome in history. In a bid to provide a universal safe space from men, feminists are now attacking feminists for defending women from transwomen – the patriarchy in a dress! Germaine Greer, Julie Bindel and Meghan Murphy are out, hairy chests and Adam’s apples are in.
If you remember, it was supposed to be the patriarchy subjugating women. Feminists seem perfectly happy to assume the mantle. Women’s sports are now increasingly the men’s B-league. Women’s employment opportunities must be open to men. Women’s freedom of speech is contingent on not criticising men wearing lipstick.
As the Iron Lady once quipped, ‘If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.’ Clearly the patriarchy can’t even be trusted to oppress women any more.
The battle for gender matters. It is not just the obvious disregard for women’s rights, but there is a broader issue at stake: if the Left are able to ignore something as fundamental as biological sex, there will be no objective truth they cannot deny. The insanity of Dawn Butler’s recent assertion that ‘a child is born without sex’ is matched only by the fact that she remains in post.
And yet, it is perhaps in the hands of the lamentable Labour Party where hope lies. In their sound rejection of lunatic wokery last December, the British people made it crystal clear where they stand on divisive identity politics: they’re not buying it. The best candidate for the job should always be the one chosen.
It is now feminism not the patriarchy treating women like second-class citizens. Ironically, that leaves only old-fashioned, conservative men providing a safe space for women. Perhaps that is not such a bad thing.